Nuclear poison on the farm

Posted by Christine, September 27, 2011

Roger Witherspoon reports on life near Fukushima

Killing the chickens was the worst.

For a 53-year-old organic farmer like Sachiko Sato, killing a chicken was not a novel event.  “We kill chickens for food. We sell chickens. We raise chickens to eat,” she said. “But this was different. This was too much.”

She was sitting in the sparse conference room in the Ossining, NY headquarters of the environmental group Riverkeeper, having lunch and recalling the life-changing events of the past year in her hometown, Fukushima, Japan, as her 13-year-old daughter, Mina, slept in a chair nearby.  She is part of a small delegation of Japanese farmers and the country’s best known anti-nuclear activist, Aileen Mioko Smith, who came to the US to talk to anti-nuclear groups and government officials and present a petition to the United Nations High commission on Human Rights to recognize the danger posed by radiation to children.

Earlier in the week Ed Lyman, of the Union of Concerned Scientists ( ), hosted a meeting between the group and officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Beyond Nuclear ( ),the American anti-nuclear group, guided  the group around New York and teamed with the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition ( and )   to bring them to suburban Westchester County Friday to see the area around the Indian Point nuclear power complex and talk with local farmers about the danger such plants posed to their livelihoods. They stopped at Riverkeeper, which has waged a legal fight to close the plant for nearly a decade, to rest before taking the train back into Manhattan for a meeting at the UN.

Read the rest of Roger’s story:

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